Archives For September 2011

You may remember that during my trip to Houston last month I spent an afternoon in Heaven Ikea and picked up a few things, including this kind of silly but 100% adorable picture frame for a mere five bucks. I stuck it up in my little grouping of items in the downstairs bath and waited for inspiration to strike before filling it with anything.

I hemmed and hawed, considered a photograph, something DIY’d, or even a purchased print (this one was a major contender), but while going through some things yesterday after work found the perfect solution sitting right under my nose.

This is a photo of our wedding venue (the Louisiana Old Governor’s Mansion), taking by famous Louisiana photographer Fonville Winans in the 1930′s. It’s a standard gift from the OGM to couples who get married there, and comes with a thick white mat and some fascinating info about the OGM and Fonville Winans on the back.

I’ve been waiting to find the perfect frame for it, and what was really holding me back was that all of my frames were already matted and I didn’t want to let that lovely mat go to waste. Well I decided that was dumb. I’ll just save the mat for when I need it someday and enjoy my lovely photo now. Into the Ikea frame it went (which is not matted, but is big enough only for the 5×7 photo).

I moved the nail on the bathroom wall a smidge to the left and this little lady was ready to hang horizontally.

I think it’s kind of fun because our house and the OGM were actually built around the same time (our house is a few years older, in fact), so it’s kinda like the two houses are old friends. Plus they’re only, like, two miles away from each other. It’s like they totally went to high school together or something. Except the OGM housed governors and my house…not so much.

I heard recently that Fonville Winans prints might not be available for much longer because of some legal issues, so I’m glad that I’ve got this one and a few others gracing my walls. He photographed lots of local landmarks in the 30′s, including LSU (my beloved alma mater). It’s kind of fun to see how things have changed (or haven’t) since then. If you’re interested, you can see all of Winans’ photographs here.



Yes it goes on and on my friends.

So easy to make, and can be created in a plethora of colors. I started with an old t-shirt.

Cut across the shirt just under the arms, then cut off the bottom hem. The middle part is what will make up the scarf. Feel free to cut off one of the sleeves and wear it as a hat. I guarantee it will make you smile.

I decided to make things interesting with a little tea-dying experimentation. To be fair, this wasn’t my first tea-dying rodeo. I thought the color of the yellow ribbon that I posted about yesterday was a little too high-contrast for my downstairs bath, so I got the idea to tone down the shade a little bit by tea-dying. It didn’t really work. I guess grosgrain ribbon is too tightly woven. Or maybe the yellow was too bright for the subtle tea color to really show. Or maybe it did change a little and I just can’t tell because I didn’t leave any ribbon un-dyed to compare it to. Anyway, even though dying the ribbon was a big ol’ fail, I thought the process was kind of fun and wanted to do a post about tea-dying. Enter this scarf.

So I boiled some water and added two family-sized tea bags. Let it steep for a bit.

Then put my shirt in and let it sit for a while.

After probably thirty minutes I took it out and rinsed in cool water, then popped in the dryer. Now it’s ready to be worn as a longer necklace-ish scarf.

Or doubled up to warm the neck. The oyster color is perfect for fall.

I really like the way it looks when twisted up a bit for a rope-like effect.

My favorite part of this scarf is that you can make it out of any old t-shirt in two point five seconds. Got a shirt you love the feel and color of, but maybe the fit’s not so flattering anymore or it’s sporting a hole under the arm? Turn it into a scarf! OR use fabric dye to give it a custom color. The bigger the shirt, the longer the scarf, so I may be stealing a shirt from Nicholas to make another one.  I even saw an idea on Pinterest to use dye to create an ombre effect and bought some yellow dye to whip one up for football season (when I get around to it).


Adorbs. You should totally try this out. I cut and dyed my new scarf while on the phone with my BFF and eating dinner, so you know it’s not one of those pesky projects that will require all of your brainpower. Like teaching yourself how to sew a zipper or make fabric piping. And if you’ve got a little more time on your hands and want to get fancy, you can sew the edges together to make it a tube. Just leave a little section open so you can turn it inside out, then stitch it up by hand (just like a throw pillow).

As the wing chair saga continues, I find myself looking for quick and easy projects I can complete between reupholstery sessions. You know, to remind myself that some projects can actually be completed in fewer than 4, 736 hours.

I picked up three rolls of this yellow ribbon on sale at Hobby Lobby a while ago. It spoke to me. It told me it needed to be ruffled. But I said, “Ribbon, you are too narrow to be ruffled. There will be nothing left of your midsection. What you need is to be pleated.” The ribbon noted my impressive textile makeover skilz.

After hours of painstakingly creating piping for the wing chairs this weekend, I needed a project that called for reckless abandon. And I remembered the ribbon still awaiting its makeover. The time had come.

This was so easy because it’s so imprecise. It took me less than thirty minutes to sew pleats into about 21 yards of ribbon. What I did was just turn under the end, sew, and then continue to fold the ribbon under itself as I ran it through my sewing machine.

Every now and then I would change the direction of my fold, just for fun. But then I’d change it back because it was much easier to fold the fabric away from me than toward me. I was really casual about the size of the folds. Things got a little wonky on one occasion and my ribbon was getting folded every which way as it passed under the needle, but I just figured it would add interest. I didn’t even use matching thread. Totally living on the edge here. Here’s what I ended up with:

Isn’t it cool? My plan is to use it to embellish the shower curtain in my downstairs bath.

I really want to have three horizontal stripes of pleated ribbon near the bottom, but I’m having some trouble figuring out exactly how to place/space them. I feel like maybe there are some design guidelines for the placement of stripes that I just don’t know about? I’m nervous about putting them too high or too close together or something like that and having it look weird. Any thoughts, my friends?

P.S. I saw a friend yesterday who works at a fancy restaurant in New Orleans and gave me a huuuuge paper bag of wine corks she’s been saving for me! Now I can finally get started on that bathmat I mentioned two months ago!

As I continue soldiering away at reupholstering the wing chairs, my eye keeps drifting to the far side of the room…

Doesn’t that little end table and chair in the corner seem useless? Lately I’ve been feeling like that side of the room is too much stuff, not enough function. Plus I spraypainted the nightstand-turned-end-table ages ago before I realized how terrible I am at spraypainting and the purple paint is starting to peel. I’ve been dreaming of maybe bringing in a petite little loveseat to add some extra seating. I found this one yesterday and I’m kind of obsessed. I love the lines, the color, and the tufting, but the price is what really amazes me. Only $239!

Home Decorators

At only 50″ wide, it’s sized just right for the space. I also love that it’s about the same height as my sofa, and has exposed legs like my sofa, but is way different in shape. I feel like maybe the two can relate to one another without clashing. It’s like they’ve each got their own separate personality, but some things in common as well. A solid basis for a fruitful relationship.

I’m not positive how deep it is, but I think around 30″. Maybe I’ll place a narrow console behind it to push it further into the seating area and provide some space for display? I saw the most adorable little vintage console in a pile of furniture at someone’s house yesterday and totally wanted to ask if I could buy it, but I didn’t. I did snap a picture on my phone when no one was looking so that I could remember my little lovie when I’m out thrifting or trolling craigslist for something similar.

I don’t have the funds to drop $300 (after shipping) right now, plus I like to sit on major purchases or projects for a while to make sure it’s what I really want, but if I’m still thinking of this little sofa come October she may be coming to live with me. I can’t imagine ever getting over this perfect little beauty, but stranger things have happened.